As many of my readers will know, Google is by far my favourite search engine and a free tool that has been available for all users of Google for some time now certainly deserves a mention in Click. The Google toolbar which is available from is a small utility which integrates and becomes an add in for Internet Explorer which adds a number of features to your browsing experience. Some of which I’ve highlighted below:

- Pop up blocker: By far my favourite feature; quite simply the Google toolbar sits in the background and prevents websites from popping windows up whilst you’re browsing the Internet. These windows are more than likely to contain adverts and they’re also more than likely to annoy you so this is definitely something worth activating. Of course, if you do want a website to be allowed to pop up a window then you can temporarily disable this blocker by holding down the <CTRL> button.
- Web searcher: Wherever you are on the Internet, whatever page you are on, you can just type a search term into the toolbar, select to search the whole Internet or just the site you’re on and hit go to be taken to a page that displays the results of your search. Any terms you’ve searched for that exists on the page returned by Google can also be easily highlighted so you can determine its relevance.
- Automatic form filling: You can program the toolbar with your name, address, phone number etc and then whenever there is a form on the Internet to fill in you simply click a button and it does it all for you. If you do a lot of shopping online then this becomes extremely helpful.
- Google Page Rank tool: As explained in the last couple of articles, a websites ‘importance’ in Googles eyes can be determined by looking at its page rank. The page rank for every page you visit is clearly displayed in the Google toolbar; this is especially important if you’re looking into optimising your websites search engine ranking and wish to check out your own page or your competitors.

Of course, the features of the Google toolbar are all fully configurable and there are several other features and shortcuts and are accessible. Essentially, it’s a free of charge, small and helpful utility which is certainly worth downloading; if you don’t find it useful then it can always be installed then all you’ve wasted is 30 seconds downloading it!

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